Ally Kustera, 12, a sixth-grader from Huntington, battled it out with three other contestants on last Tuesday’s episode of “Chopped Junior,” a reality TV cooking show on the Food Network.
Each week, four kids compete in three rounds — appetizer, main course, and then dessert. After each round, one chef is cut, leaving one winner for each week’s episode. The winner gets $10,000.
Ally made it through the appetizer round, during which she made Rainbow Salad out of rainbow chard, tuna in olive oil and several other ingredients. She progressed to the entree round, in which she made seared scallops and a papaya sauce.
Then she was “chopped.”
“It was so crazy to actually be on the ‘Chopped Junior’ set with all the cameras and the pantry,” Ally says of the two days she filmed on the set in Manhattan. “Filming itself was really, really fun.”
While the episode filmed in February, Ally didn’t see it until last week, when she watched with friends and relatives at her house.
“Watching the show was nerve-wracking, even though I knew what happened,” Ally says. “There were 50 people at my house. They were cheering, they were screaming. When I got chopped, some of my really good friends were crying.”